Five Bags Full

The two bags of namkeens
Were eked out over weeks.
My sister felt bad when I told
Her how treasured they were. I
Thought your suitcase wouldn’t hold
So much, she said, and to buy
More would’ve been a waste!
She speaks, I thought, as if taste
Lies only on the tongue, a matter
Of spices and dough. As though
The heart were not suffused
With the sweetness and salt
Of home. So this time, she bought
Five bags. All that they had
At the store. This time I told her not
To feel bad. How could a heart ask
For more.

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Seasonings

I got the baingans right tonight
(The trick is not to heat the oil
Too much) and the kala namak
Was the perfect finishing touch.
The keema also turned out quite
Well. You could hardly tell
The difference from the way
Mom used to make it. Today
I remembered how much
Dad loved the baingan slices.
So dinner turned out well (it was just
A question of adjusting memory
To spices).

 

Seasoning From Memory

I got the baingans right tonight
(The trick is not to heat the oil
Too much) and the kala namak
Was the perfect finishing touch.
The keema also turned out quite
Well. You could hardly tell
The difference from the way
Mom used to make it. Today
I remembered how much
Dad loved the baingan slices.
So dinner turned out well (it was just
A question of adjusting memory
To spices).